On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 01:27:47PM -0700, Joshua Koenig wrote:
> You at HQ are right to be cautious about how all of this is 
> implemented, about how the Sites will be hosted and who will offer 
> support. But as I see it, it's really not something you want to try to 
> control. On the one hand you won't be able to -- the genie is already 
> out of the bottle as they say -- and on the other hand, the more 
> controlling force you exert, the less participation you will have.

Which is almost exactly the same thing that applies to the MeetUp's and why
I'm sure Burlington is glad to *have* MeetUp.com "in the way"....

and why our local steering committee tries (or at least, I do) to maintain a
clear line of demarcation: we recommend to people where they should vote to
meet, but we don't *tell* anyone.

> Maybe the campaign needs to have a "party line" on these issues, a 
> stance they're sticking with; something that will legally protect you 
> from whatever any individual might attempt to do with the products of 
> our collective efforts. Individuals can either toe that party line (and 
> work under the campaign) or remain independent, which means they are 
> not allowed to coordinate.

"... with Burlington."  They'll likely be semi-automatically coordinating
with one another.  Remember the Gilmore quote, though, about routing around
censorship.  It's gonna get windy out by and by, folks.

> > I see the main advantage of working with the campaign being, from a
> > political point of view, that the work you are doing can not only win
> > the presidency but transform politics. Because there is a driver behind
> > it -- Dean -- it will grow exponentially.
> 
> I'll have to respectfully disagree with you here, Zephyr. As much as I 
> like Howard Dean and want him to win the presidency, the truly 
> transformative power of what we're doing comes from it's ability to be 
> picked up and used by any campaign  by any party anywhere in the world. 
> If it's just a DeanTool this will not happen. It will need to die (and 
> hopefully be reborn) on election day. If it's something else -- the 
> virtual town hall -- then it has a life and an impact that reaches far 
> beyond Decision 2004.

Very eloquently put, Josh, and I agree.

> >  In my vision, Howard Dean will not just mention Meetups on the
> > stump, but setting up Dean Community Sites. I really believe this is 
> > the
> > next phase of the revolution -- and I'm sorry if you're feeling some of
> > the constraints, but I hope you decide that they are worth it.
> 
> I think we all share this vision, but at the same time I strongly doubt 
> the campaign exercises any direct control -- legally or content-wise -- 
> over Meetup.

And by corollary, I don't see any reason why DFA ought to need to exercise
*control* over either the design or implementation of the "kit".  They can
promulgate *standards*, certainly, just as Avon has for websites run by it's
independent distributors -- and indeed, perhaps that's the best analogy here:
modulo FEC regs, local committees which have *not* yet formally affiliated
with Burlington are "independent contractors".  As long as they don't violate
the law, they can say, editorially, what they like.  Whether they have a
license to use materials supplied by DFA, likely, is where such control as
they campaign might impose would come from.

> Similarly, IMHO our effort needs to be fundamentally independent from 
> the campaign for a time (as it has been for the past months and 
> functionally still is now), until it is mature enough that we (the 
> hack4dean working group) can release our code. At that point, the 
> campaign is free to pick up the ball and run with it, and various 
> elements of this group will be free to do the same, to pursue whatever 
> other dreams they have for this movement.
> 
> We're not there yet.

Bummer.

> Now with Dean as a frontrunner, we run the risk of turning too much in 
> the opposite direction. To my mind, it's of the utmost importance that 
> the effort of developing this kit be an all-volunteer Free software 
> effort. Once this is done, it seems likely that the hack4dean group 
> will splinter: some will continue to work on the kit, some will break 
> off and focus on helping people set up nodes, some will go to work 
> directly for the campaign in one capacity or another, some will attempt 
> other things. This is natural and good.

Yeah, I don't know how to deal with success either.  ;-)

Cheers,
-- jra
-- 
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